Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cold Chicken, Professional Soccer and Korean Erectile Dysfunction Commercials: Chuseok Holiday 2010 (FRIDAY)

I am sitting in a suite at the Hotel D'Or in Itaewon. Keanu Reeves is angry about something on the American channel, there are five KFC boxes on the floor and I can't find my pants.

And this is how I got here.


Koreans, God bless them, have many national holidays. Chuseok, also known as Korean Thanksgiving, happens to be occurring right now. Well, technically it's Tuesday through Thursday, but if you're lucky, your school will let you off for Monday and Friday as well. Gustie and I are lucky. And lucky girls sleep until 10 AM in their swanky hotel suites with jacuzzi tubs. Sadly, Angie, our partner in small crimes, had to depart early this morning. But that's getting ahead of the story.


For me, Chuseok began at 4:30 PM on Friday. With mysteriously delivered rice cakes in saran wrap. Really. Things just appear on my desk all the time. But I departed the school, rice cakes in hand, on the way to the bus terminal. The goal for the night was Chinese food and general debauchery with some members of the Icheon foreigner crew.

Met up with Felicia, Sean and Gustie at the station, hopped on the 8, and stopped right by the restaurant a very sweaty twenty minutes later. (City buses tend to be PACKED right after school, and Friday was no exception. Definitely rubbed more than a few elbows with the locals.) After a brief conversation with some very drunk guys outside the ATM, we headed up for some Chinese cuisine. (Because can you really have enough Asia? Ever?)

After dinner, we walked down a whole two flights of stairs to land right in front of a bar. (I love this city.) And there, we made an awesome discovery. Korea Fun Fact #486: a lot of the tables in bars or restaurants have these little call buttons on the side, enabling you to summon your waitress whenever you want. These shall be known henceforth as "booze buttons".

Many pitchers later, we had made it through just about every flavor of "soju margaritas" the place offered, and an idea was born. Felicia had bought West some post-its, ostensibly for remembering important, job-related things. We decided, however, that they should be re-appropriated for scribbling down the hilarities of the evening. (With a compilation version to be produced at the end of the year.) A sampling of the "things to remember":

- drink soju (with check-mark added)
- learn to talk English-ee
- perform sacrilege on the metro transit
- don't get beat up by adjummas

A most excellent evening.

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